UBS Wealth Management has launched an advisory board to help the company better serve women and increase the financial confidence of one million women by 2021.
The board comprises business leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists, including Maria Sharapova, the tennis player who is also an entrepreneur and investor.
The advisory board will work closely with UBS’ senior wealth management executives on the program, which is called UBS Unique.
The initiative derives from the premise that compared to men, women are less confident when it comes to investing and that globally, fewer than half describe themselves as financially confident.
UBS points out that the rewards could be significant if the financial industry gets this right, with female investors expected to invest USD$2.3trn (£1.79trn) in socially responsible investments by 2021.
Women’s wealth is set to grow faster than men’s - now owning 30 per cent of global private wealth; this is set to grow 7 per cent year on year according to UBS.
Yet it adds that women are not happy with the wealth management industry and two thirds switch wealth managers because they are unhappy with the service.
Dr. Mara Harvey, managing director UBS Wealth Management and head of the program, said: “The amount of private wealth controlled by women is set to grow faster than men’s year-on-year for the next five years.
"This changing dynamic requires the industry to change with it. We have set ourselves an ambitious task which we cannot do alone.
"The advisory board will play a pivotal role in helping us shape the future of our business; one that supports women in all their investment needs. We want to provide women with the knowledge and confidence to make the best financial decisions for them and to achieve the social impact they want.”
Olga Miler, co-founder of the program and Global Program Architect, said: "Meaningful and lasting change can only happen when it is done in partnership with the people who can influence that change.
"The breadth of experience of the advisory board means they will be able to challenge us and bring a fresh perspective to our ambitious five-year plan to bring about change in the financial industry”.
Kay Ingram, director of public policy at financial planners LEBC said financial education is key to all investors having more confidence when making investment decisions.
"At a local level, this can be delivered via workplace based seminars and web based chat rooms which enable individuals to gain a better understanding of their options.
"Three of our directors and two of our branch heads and many of our advisory staff are women and all of advisers are trained in communication skills and offer advice to a diverse range of clients of all ages and backgrounds.
"While the savings ratio is at an all time low of 1.7 per cent and personal debt is growing, widening access to advice is therefore crucial to the health of the economy.